Dealin’ Dipoto was at it again yesterday, making a trade of minor league prospects which should benefit the Tacoma Rainiers starting rotation.
The Mariners general manager was looking to add starting pitching depth, and he did so by acquiring right-hander Chase De Jong from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Statistically, De Jong had a terrific 2016 season: in 25 starts for the Dodgers Double-A Tulsa affiliate, De Jong went 14-5 with a 3.24 ERA. The 23-year-old pitched 141 innings, striking out 125 with 39 walks issued.
It appears that De Jong is ready for Triple-A, and he’ll slot into the Rainiers starting rotation. He did make one start in the PCL for Oklahoma City last year, and it was a good one.
To get DeJong, the Mariners gave up Class-A shortstop prospect Drew Jackson, and rookie-level flamethrower Aneurys Zabala. I’ve never seen either player, but I heard from M’s coaches that Zabala has a fastball which approaches 100 mph, so he’s probably the prospect the Dodgers had their eye on.
De Jong is on the 40-man roster, so the Mariners had to create a space for him… and they did so by designating Rainiers infielder Mike Freeman for assignment. Freeman is on waivers and can be claimed by any other team as long as that team places him on its 40-man roster. If no team claims him, Freeman will be outrighted to Tacoma. We could definitely use Freeman in Tacoma this year, so we’ll be happy if he clears waivers – although I’m sure Mike would rather be on a 40-man roster somewhere.
All of Dipoto’s tinkering with the “depth” portion of the major league 40-man roster should have a positive effect in Tacoma. We’ll see how good this team is in about a month!
- We’ll start with Bob Dutton’s story on the trade.
- Likely Rainiers outfielder Tyler O’Neill also plays the piano.
- This Mariners Notebook indicates that Rainiers outfielder Boog Powell has fallen down the depth chart a bit – which is not surprising, considering the 80-game suspension he served last year.
- Larry Stone has a deep look at Felix Hernandez‘s first start of spring.
- New acquisition Drew Smyly was pleased with his first start of the spring.
- Reliever Nick Vincent is finding things to be a bit easier this spring.
- Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger hit a long home run off highly ranked White Sox prospect Michael Kopech on Tuesday.
- Relief pitcher Tony Zych, recovering from a shoulder clean-up, threw off a mound for the first time on Tuesday.
- Jean Segura has been added to the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic team. He joins Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz.
- From recent Mariners spring training games: Tyler O’Neill made some key contributions in a 7-4 win over Cleveland on Wednesday… Haniger’s homer was part of an 8-1 win over the White Sox on Tuesday… and on Monday they took their first loss, a lopsided 14-3 decision against Kansas City.
- Joe Davis is preparing for the toughest job in sports: replacing Vin Scully.